Laparoscopic Associates of San Francisco

How To Dine Out After Weight Loss Surgery

October 9th, 2012 Posted in Eating healthy, Nutrition, post weight loss surgery tips, Post WLS tips, Protein and calories, weight loss surgery

Going out to eat for the first time is probably one of the hardest encounters for patients to tackle after weight loss surgery. Many questions come up such as, “How do I order at a restaurant?” “What is there for me to eat?” “Aren’t the portions far too large?”


I definitely recommend not going out to eat at a restaurant until you are officially on the solid food phase and tolerating a good amount of foods and textures. This is so you know exactly what foods you can tolerate and understand how to recognize portion sizes.


For weight loss surgery patients, going out to eat should not be scary if you know how to navigate the menu and order correctly. Below are a few tips to bring with you when you are dining out.


1. Avoid the dreadful “C’s”.

A good rule of thumb when it comes to navigating a menu is that if the description of the food starts with the letter C, most likely you should not be consuming it. Such words include: creamy, crunchy, and crispy. Look for words such as grilled, baked, fresh, steamed, and boiled.


2. Choose restaurants known for quality food and ingredients.

It is very hard to find healthy options at fast food or chain restaurants so you may want to think about what kind of restaurant you plan on going to. There are certain restaurants that may be easier to eat small portions and healthy options than others such as sushi (sashimi, fish, and broth based soups) or fine dining (small portions and fewer food additives). Regardless, wherever you go, search the menu for healthy protein such as eggs, chicken, turkey, seafood, etc. and build your entrée from there. Omit all refined carbohydrates and replace them with vegetables.


3. Look at the sides menu.

When it comes to decreasing portion size and saving money, you may benefit from choosing your food “a la carte”. For example, when going out to breakfast, most entrees come with massive amounts of food especially from carbohydrates (toast, potatoes, pancakes, etc). Many breakfast joints though do have a sides menu where you can purchase say 1 egg, any way or a side of turkey sausage. This way you can avoid the huge portions and avoid the refined carbohydrates!


Whenever you are going out to eat, just remember the basics of eating after weight loss surgery. Focus on lean proteins and vegetables and stay away from refined carbohydrates. Always ask questions about the entrée and most likely always share food with a friend if possible!

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